MENâ€™S TENNIS BLANKS EASTERN WASHINGTON IN CHENEY
CHENEY, Wash. - In a battle of the two teams that faced each other in last season’s Big Sky Conference men’s tennis championship match, Sacramento State claimed a 7-0 victory over Eastern Washington Friday afternoon on the Eagles’ home courts.
Last year, Eastern Washington stunned Sacramento State, 4-3, to claim the Big Sky championship and earn the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Apparently still remembering last year’s events, the Hornets blanked the Eagles today and did it in a decisive manner. In fact, Sacramento State won five of the six singles matches in straight sets and was never really challenged throughout the day.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in the Big Sky. Each of the Hornets’ four losses this season have come to teams ranked 18th in the nation or better. Eastern Washington fell to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in the conference, and had its three-match winning streak snapped. In this year’s Big Sky coaches preseason poll, the Hornets were narrowly selected to win this year’s conference title over the Eagles.
Sacramento State began things by winning two of the three doubles matches to claim the doubles point. Then the singles portion of the match began, and it wasn’t very close. Kiryl Harbatsiuk won at No. 1 (6-4, 6-4), Anton Stryhas at No. 2 (6-4, 6-2), Holden Ching at No. 3 (6-3, 6-3), Jason Smith at No. 4 (6-4, 6-7, 10-5), Marko Starcevic at No. 5 (6-3, 6-3) and Artur Klimenka at No. 6 (6-3, 6-3) were each victorious for the Hornets.
Harbatsiuk is now 5-3 in singles play this year, with his only three losses coming to players ranked among the top 32 collegiate individuals in the nation.
The Hornets return to action tomorrow when they travel to Oregon to take on both Portland (9 a.m.) and Portland State (2 p.m.).
Sacramento State vs Eastern Washington
Feb 20, 2009 at Cheney, Wash.
Sacramento State 7, Eastern Washington 0
1. #108 HARBATSIUK, Kiryl (SAC) def. RIEGO DE DIOS, Nico (EWU-M) 6-4, 6-4
2. STRYHAS, Anton (SAC) def. MAM, Pannhara (EWU-M) 6-4, 6-2
3. CHING, Holden (SAC) def. SCHRAEDER, Kyle (EWU-M) 6-3, 6-3
4. SMITH, Jason (SAC) def. KARAS, Art (EWU-M) 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 1-0 (10-5)
5. STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) def. PEZ, Daniel (EWU-M) 6-3, 6-3
6. KLIMENKA, Artur (SAC) def. HENNINGER, Chad (EWU-M) 6-3, 6-3
1. SCHRAEDER, Kyle/RIEGO DE DIOS, Nico (EWU-M) def. #59 STRYHAS, Anton/HARBATSIUK, Kiryl (SAC) 9-8 (15-13)
2. CHING, Holden/STARCEVIC, Marko (SAC) def. SANCHEZ, Julian/NORLING, Kenneth (EWU-M) 8-3
3. KLIMENKA, Artur/SMITH, Jason (SAC) def. MAM, Pannhara/KARAS, Art (EWU-M) 8-3
Sacramento State 3-4, 1-0 BSC
Eastern Washington 5-4, 1-1 BSC
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,2,1,4,5,6)